EL PASO, Texas (WLS) -- A delegation of city officials has arrived in Texas for a visit to the U.S.-Mexico border amid the ongoing migrant crisis.
A small team of city aldermen delivered a message to the mayor of El Paso in a local gymnasium 1,500 miles away from City Hall.
"What we have shared with the mayor of El Paso is that there is no more room in Chicago. He gets it. What we have expressed is for whatever partners they have in Texas to help us in Chicago, which he is assigning now, and we started the conversations with the not for profits here to help us," said Ald. Will Hall.
The city's traveling delegation said the small border city that's a fraction of the size of Chicago is no longer feeling the financial strain and daily weight of supporting migrants on its own.
"What I saw down here was the federal government supports El Paso," Ald. Hall said. "There are a lot of funds that come into this city because this city is declared a disaster, so with that declaration from the federal government means they get a lot of money."
In their first hours on the ground in Texas, Chicago aldermen toured shelters in El Paso run by non-profits to set up a network, a long line of communication on both ends of the migrants' path.
In Chicago, more than 11,000 migrants are now in shelters, and more than 3,000 are sleeping in police stations and airports awaiting placement as the cold creeps in.
"I had a lot of conversations with not-for-profits, so we are going to begin to coordinate between not-for-profits in Texas and not-for-profits in Chicago. Something as simple as making sure that everyone that leaves El Paso has a coat," Ald. Hall said.
But city leaders said in just their first day the border it's abundantly clear that help from the federal government is crucial.
"Without a federal declaration from the president we are on our own," Hall said. "The gap that we see in our budget, the strain on our budget, is due to the fact that we do not have that federal declaration like they're doing here in El Paso."